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Dividing Money, Property, and Debt in Colorado

 
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Summary:  In a Colorado divorce mediation, marital property and debt must be divided "equitably." Usually this means about a 50-50 split.  Separate property is not divided.  Household furniture is usually the easiest to agree on..

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General Law in Colorado as to the Equitable Division of Property and Debt

Colorado law provides that the division of marital property shall be an equitable division, without regard to any fault.  CRS 14-10-113.  "Equitable" means "fair."

Usually an equitable division means about a 50-50 split.  This is particularly true if the spouses cannot agree between themselves and the Judge has to do it.  However, sometimes the economic circumstances (such as earning capacity) of the spouses and the children are considered to arrive at a different ratio of division.

The law as to the division of debt is the same.  An "equitable" division.

Hidden Assets

Another page on this site addresses the attempt to hide assets prior to a divorce.  It is rare that you will succeed in hiding assets.  Also, if you end up in court over the issue of hidden assets, you may get attorney fees assessed against you.

The Residence

There is a separate page on this site which discusses the equitable division of the martial home equity.

Money and Similar Liquid Investment Accounts

Usually money and liquid investments are divided 50-50.  Usually this results in the closing of joint accounts and the opening of separate accounts with appropriate transfer of money.

Household and Other Personal Property

Household items are usually the easiest to divide.  You clearly do not want a Judge to make the division, because the Judge is not going to spend any time listening to who wants what and why.  One or both of you is going to have to purchase replacement household furniture.  Take that into account.

Retirement Assets

Retirement assets are usually divided with a Qualified Domestic Relations Order ("QDRO".)  A QDRO is a court order which directs the retirement plan administrator to divide a retirement plan in a very specific manner.

Division of Martial Debt

In 2010, most couples have a large amount of credit card and similar bills, as well as car loans/leases.  Some are "upside down" on their residence.

Often the large financial burden is a major reason for the split up.  And now the burden may increase because both of you are liable on most of the bills.

The division of debt is often the biggest challenge in a divorce case.

Sometimes a bankruptcy is the only reasonable solution for one or both spouses.

Your separation agreement must take into account the likelihood that one of you may take bankruptcy after the divorce is final, thus transferring the responsibility for certain bills back to you, which is inconsistent with the separation agreement.

 

   
     
GIF The material on this web site is for informational purposes only. This law firm practices only in Colorado. An attorney-client relationship is established only when an agreement as to the scope of representation and fees has been signed and a retainer paid. Colorado law may consider these web site materials to be attorney advertising. GIF
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